I'm an extraordinarily competent guy. You probably are, too. But, somehow, and despite that singularly exceptional fact, my life is a bollocks of extraordinarily incompetent acts.
(I'll leave it up to you to either agree with that statement about your life, or not).
And so it has come to pass that, in the 79 years I've been on this planet, I've come to realize that no matter how competent I am, or how competent those I surround myself with are, stuff happens.
Stuff which, on the face of it, would suggest that neither I nor those I surround myself with are really as competent as we imagine ourselves to be.
So many things we set out to do just never get done.
Or, if they do get done, they get done badly.
Worse than any of us ever imagined.
Worse than any of us would ever be willing to share in our resume with the rest of the world.
So, how come?
How come such exceptionally competent human beings as we are can fail in such a prodigious fashion?
Lousy in relationships. Lousy at management. Lousy at leadership. Lousy at marketing. Lousy at sales. Lousy at just about everything at one time or another.
The explanation, as Einstein so aptly put it, is that everything is relative.
Which means, while we're relatively competent in any number of ways, we're relatively stupid as well.
Unfortunately, stupid has a habit of showing up in our lives more often than not.
I call this phenomenon, this trap that keeps showing up in our lives, in the lives of even extraordinarily competent people, stuck in stupid.
Now, I know that no one wants to think of himself or herself as being stuck in stupid. Not you, not me, not anyone. But, believe me, it happens to all of us.
My saxophone teacher used to tell me I was stuck in stupid when I refused to listen to what he was telling me, imploring me, to do to. It was annoying, yes, but it woke me up and I got the message.
Look around your business right now. If you're being honest with yourself, you probably see any number of examples of talented, competent people who are, nonetheless, stuck in stupid. Employees who, no matter what you tell them, continue to make the same mistakes, again and again.
How about you? Do you keep on repeating the same routines, time after time, despite how unsuccessful those tactics have been and despite how frustrated you become?
Despite how just doing it, doing it, doing it is keeping you going around in circles, going nowhere fast?
So what's the solution?
How does one get unstuck from stupid?
The answer is extraordinarily simple. So simple that I'm constantly amazed at how few business owners do it.
The answer is to stop thinking and acting like a Technician, and begin to think and act like an Entrepreneur.
Stupid creeps in when we fall asleep, when we lose sight of the bigger picture--the vision of what our business is really here to accomplish.
So getting unstuck from stupid requires us to wake up, to look beyond today to tomorrow and to the tomorrows after that. To determine how to make everything we do better.
How to serve our clients more effectively and more meaningfully.
How to make a profound difference in the lives of our clients and our employees and everyone else who comes into contact with our business.
Getting unstuck from stupid means waking up to your creative self, your entrepreneurial self who had a dream to build a business that transforms peoples lives, including your own.
And getting unstuck from stupid means remembering to work ON that dream by working ON your business.